August 18th, 2007
10:53 AM ET
14 years ago

Thompson: Roe 'bad law and bad medicine'

Watch CNN's John King interview Fred Thompson.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Likely Republican White House hopeful Fred Thompson told CNN Friday that he would work to overturn Roe v. Wade if elected president, and would push for a constitutional amendment that protects states from being forced to honor gay marriages performed in other states.

“I don’t think that one state ought to be able to pass a law requiring gay marriage or allowing gay marriage and have another state be required to follow along,” Thompson told CNN’s John King in an interview Friday.

Thompson added that the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion “was bad law and bad medicine.”

As for when he will jump into the race, the former Tennessee senator said "shortly."

“We are going to be getting in if we get in, and of course, we are in the testing the waters phase,” he said. “We’re going to be making a statement shortly that will cure all of that. But yeah, we’ll be in traditionally when people get in this race."

Thompson also said he believed he could enter the presidential race next month and still win the Iowa caucuses.

On the issue of Iraq, Thompson refused to provide a timeline for how much longer US forces would remain in the country under his administration, but said, “We need to make every effort to make sure that we don’t get run out of there with our tail between our legs before we’ve done the job of securing that place.”

Asked about critics who call him “too lazy” to put in the long hours necessary to run for president, Thompson said: “If I have critics in Washington it's not going to come as a surprise to me. I'll have more by the end of this campaign,” adding, “The proof’s in the pudding. I think that’s curable.”

- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (535 Responses)
  1. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    He should be arrested and treated as a terrorist!

    August 18, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. N

    I love how liberals blather on about women's rights, yet ignore the rights of babies inside their mothers. Many of them are females who will grow up to BECOME women. So what is the cutoff age for women's rights?

    August 18, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Michelle, Becket Mass

    Well there goes my vote or the desire to even listen to anything else this "possible" candidate may have to say...Never loose the right to choose!!!

    August 18, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    stay in telivision

    August 18, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Justin - Los Angeles, CA

    Wow, are the Republicans in trouble. Their front-runner is a former mayor of NEW YORK CITY on his third marriage with a penchant for drag and a great gay-relations past. The second-place guy is a Mormon who, up until a few years ago, was a liberal from MASSACHUSETTS(!!!). Their "savior" is an undistinguished senator whose first major utterance as a quasi-candidate is the one issue that can mobilize the opposition and independents like no other. This is a train wreck...Dukakis could win in this environment.

    The GOP has a terrible catch-22: everyone has to flee rightwards in order to capture the base for the primary (exacerbated by the fact that the front-runners have a crap record on conservative social values), but that sets them up to get slammed in the general election from an electorate who is completely dispirited from the Bush debacle. The conservative movement needs to take a step back and re-group because we're going to have to apply the Little League "mercy rule" in a bit here...

    August 18, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Brad Nitschke, Dallas, Texas

    Ya gotta be kidding me. Nothing in that post says he'll ban abortion. Overturning Roe does not = banning abortion. Claiming with your headline that it does is misleading. CNN, your credibility continues to slip.

    August 18, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Sara, New York


    Thank you for your insightful comments

    No I do not support life support. So you're right on – thanks for that but good try.

    And so you're telling me that instead of comprehensive sex ed in schools we should have adult night classes at community colleges for people?

    So all of those people who are too poor to afford a class, and who are working more than one job so they can't take a night off for a sex ed class don't deserve to learn how to protect themselves from STIs and unwanted pregnancy?

    And YES it is about ME ME ME. I don't tell you what to do with your body. Don't tell me what to do with mine. I don't try to influence the law to limit your abilities to make a medical decision, please don't treat me as though I don't have the mental capacity to make anguishing medical decisions on my own.

    You men who think that you have the right to take medical decisions away from all women have some nerve. I bet this wouldn't even be an issue if men were the ones who got pregnant.

    August 18, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Sara, New York

    For all of you who are blathering on about BABIES rights –

    what about all of the babies and children who don't have health care? what about their rights?

    August 18, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Joshua, Watertown, NY

    another Bush!!!!!!

    if this guy gets elected... Canada here i come!

    August 18, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Keirska Marietta, GA

    PLEASE keep your laws off MY body and MY bedroom.....

    August 18, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. lora anderson sc

    Finally, someone who is brave enough to stand for morality!!

    August 18, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Sherri, Culloden WV

    How Pompas! Why do men think they have the right to make laws pertaining to women's bodies and their choices as a woman. My vote is going elsewhere!

    August 18, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Moisha, Atlanta GA

    Thanks God for people like him, who have guts to stand for what is right for all of human beings. (no gay marriege, no abortion except medical reasons)

    August 18, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. David, Salinas, CA

    I’m scared to even write about abortion considering the understandable emotions on both sides of the issue. I’m as conflicted on the issue as the American populace. I think both sides have good points and bad ones. I can see how a second-trimester fetus might deserve legal protection in conflict with the rights of the mother. I don’t see how using discarded embryonic stem-cells for medical research constitutes murder. I hate the labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” and would never apply either of them to my position. I do believe that if we truly want to reduce the number of abortions in this country, (as I think we all do), we need to devote more resources to sex education and birth control. But I think we should curb the sexual programming we give to our kids in the media as well.. Some problems don’t have easy answers.

    But here’s my difference with Senator Thompson: I’m not sure what my ethical position is, and I’m trying honestly to figure it out and to forge a compromise which takes into account the morality of all Americans. Fred Thompson took one position for money, and now he’s taking the opposite position for votes. I’m confused about abortion, but I’m certain that Fred Thompson is a hypocrite.

    August 18, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Skel, Richmond, CA

    Seriously...Who is Fred Thompson? And why does he think anyone will vote for him? Is he kidding?

    August 18, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Rich - Simi Valley, CA

    Good post by Rich in Orlando, who said "Republicans let these religious extremists hijack their party"...

    Gone are the politicans like Barry Goldwater, who believed in staying OUT of people's private lives; & instead focused on real issues like fiscal responsibility.....

    Now, the Republicans are led by the insane clown christian/mormon posse....Sam Brownback, Mitt Romney, & Fred Thompson don't even qualify to be the county dog catcher or a librarian....There only focus are non-sense issues like abortion, banning rap music, & censoring Hollywood, etc....People like the aforementioned will NEVER solve the tremendous problems facing this country today.....Those 3 would be more divisive than Bush, & that is quite a feat....

    If one of those dreadful 3 were to win the presidency, I will work on perfecting a British accent, so I will sound like I'm from London, cuz if Brownback, Romney, or Thompson were president, I'd be too embarassed to call myself an American....

    August 18, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Carlos- Los Angeles

    Fred Thompson is another self-serving Republican sycophant pandering to the same voter base that elected the current anti-christ in the White House. My take is that Fred Thompson is over his head, trying to play the role of presidential candidate but clueless as to what to do. As expected, as soon as he opens his mouth, non-sense and giberish is what will come out. This man has ZERO chance of getting elected.

    August 18, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Zack, Alberta Canada

    As a proud Canadian I'm going to comment. This guy is a complete idiot. I hope the US doesn't vote Republican for president. We've had enough of Republicans and George Bush and every other idiot republican. Vote democrats, things ran a lot better for both countries when Clinton was in power...


    August 18, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Steve, Austin, TX

    This country is at a serious tipping point in this election. We're still tying our country to fossil fuels, "miracle" drugs, fast food, and a single religion. Who can argue that we've been going in the wrong direction? What is this, 1957? If we go the way of another president in the mold of Bush, our standing in the world will be further diminished. I do not want the fall of America to happen in my lifetime. Shouldn't we be looking for a president who is very UNLIKE Bush? Besides, Reagan, Bush, Bush again (by proxy), Cheney and Thompson are all holdovers from the Nixon administration and it's international grudges. Why do we continually toy with these war-mongering crooks? Does anyone have any idea how much of their own paycheck goes to war and corporate welfare? Snap out of it folks!

    August 18, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. J., Columbus, OH

    The headline is very misleading (though I'm no friend of Fred). He's not saying he would ban abortion. He's saying he would let states ban abortion, which is what would happen if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. That may be little better to pro-choice people, but it is unlikely than any pre-Roe anti-abortion laws would even still be in effect–each state wanting to ban abortion would have to pass new laws to that effect.

    August 18, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    All great reasons why Giuliani should, and will, win the Republican nomination.

    August 18, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Bob West Palm

    Sara from New York:

    "And YES it is about ME ME ME.

    There you have it.

    I don't think I have the right to take medical decisions away from women. Since when did pregnancy become an illness?

    The choice isn't whether to end the pregnancy, but to start it.

    But, I will post no more since your "open mind" is probably not willing to change and this is a moot argument.

    August 18, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Dex

    For those that oppose abortion. Ask yourself this, the Bible says "thou shall not kill" this is the reason you are against abortion. So do you support the troops? Under certain circumstances that have to kill. Is that morally wrong? Lets not be a hypocrite.

    August 18, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Margaret Fretter, Coeur d Alend ID

    Just what women need! Another old man calling the shots or trying to push their outdated beliefs on all women. He needs to stay on Law & Order and stay out of my life. It is a woman's body and she should be the only one to make the decisions.

    August 18, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. radicalearthling

    "What about Ron Paul"??? Ron Paul is anti-choice too. David in Arizona: The spelling is r-e-c-k-l-e-s-s. And I'll believe a woman ever has an abortion in a "reckless" way when we start arresting people for not being organ donors. I am sick and tired of old white men and their female apologists/groupies trying to tell me I should not have control of my own body at all times. Period.

    August 18, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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